What is cellulite?
Cellulite is a common skin condition where fat pushes between the connective tissue, giving the skin lumpy and puckered appearance. Sometimes it is said to resemble “cottage cheese” or “orange peel.” It is most often seen on the thighs, hips, and buttocks.
Cellulite forms just below the skin, and is caused when fat cells push up against the skin while the fibrous connective bands that tether the skin pull down. The tension gives a dimpled appearance to the skin.
While it is unknown precisely what causes cellulite, and why some people develop it while others do not, there are several factors influence the likelihood of cellulite:
- Age: When the skin loses elasticity and collagen, as happens during the aging process, the fat cells begin to show through the collagen.
- Genetics: Cellulite tends to run in families, so genetics play a role.
- Gender: Cellulite is more common in women, and 90 percent of women develop cellulite after puberty. Women’s fat is distributed through the thighs and hips, areas that commonly show cellulite.
- Weight: It is true that weight gain can make cellulite more noticeable, but some individuals with little body fat have cellulite as well.
Although the condition is harmless and does not pose any health risks, many people seek out treatments to reduce the look of cellulite. These can include dietary changes, exercise, topical creams (such as retinol), radiofrequency devices, and injections. Since there is no way to completely eliminate cellulite, the goal of such treatments should be to reduce its appearance.
If you are unhappy with the presence of cellulite on your body, speak with your health care provider about therapies that may help.
Why cellulite can be resistant to exercise and a healthy diet
Genetics, gender and other factors play a large part in whether a person has cellulite. For some people, working out and eating right may not be enough to get rid of cellulite. However, they can reduce the appearance of cellulite by using cooperative regimens such as diet, exercise, and cosmetic treatments.
There are several clinical treatments for cellulite, including Morpheus8 and Sculptra.
Treating cellulite with Morpheus8
Radiofrequency (RF) energy has been shown to be effective in reducing cellulite and contouring the body. The efficiency and safety of RF energy has led to use in a wide variety of applications in the medical field. This type of treatment heats the cellulite.
Morpheus8 is FDA-approved as a Subdermal Adipose Remodeling Device (SARD), and is designed to both remodel collagen and address adipose tissue (body fat). It uses RF energy and microneedling to break up fibrous tissue and stimulate new collagen and elastin production for a sleeker, smoother skin appearance. Morpheus8 Body offers deeper tissue treatments, and can be used on larger areas such as the hips and thighs. For optimal results, most patients need two or three treatments spaced approximately six weeks apart.
Treating cellulite with Sculptra
The FDA recently approved Scultpra to smooth and plump facial wrinkles. Cellulite reduction is another use for Sculptra. By stimulating collagen, a protein that gives support and structure to your skin, Sculptra helps smooth out dimpled skin.
Sculptra is made of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), a biodegradable polymer with a capacity to stimulate collagen production. PLLA has been safely used in a variety of applications over the past 30 years, including dissolvable sutures and soft-tissue implants.
Changes may not be immediately visible, and subtle but noticeable results are seen gradually. Typically, three treatments spaced three weeks apart are necessary for optimal correction. Scultpra offers high longevity, with results that last from 15 months up to two years.